An academic book about archaeology in Turkey

EARLY ANATOLIA - The Archaeology of Asia Minor Before the Greeks - Seton Lloyd

This is an interesting book but I wouldn't exactly call it a light and easy read. Okay, it took me only three (maybe four and a half) days to read it but that was namely because I was speed reading it. Basically this is your typical example of a dry academic text. It was not that it was a bad book, nor was the topic boring, it was just that it is generally full of academic information, namely the archaeological explorations in modern day Turkey.

Okay, I have read other books along that line, and you can easily pick up copies of such books travelling through the sites in Greece (and I suspect you can also pick up similar books in Turkey). However, it appears that this book was mainly written for archaeologists to continue the research into the pre-classical civilsations that existed in Turkey.

Look, some of his descriptions of the regions, and the archaeological sites within them are extraordinary, however his main focus is on the sites as opposed to the civilisation that lies behind them. He says as much in his introduction, and this book is actually a companion book to another book that details the civilisations that these ruins represent.

Don't get me wrong, I love exploring old ruins, and having a book like this is quite handy. When I was in Greece I picked up similar books, though they were much more up to date with glossy pictures of the various sites. A part of me wished I had picked up a few more because most of the famous sites (and even some of the not so famous sites, such as Tyrins) have copies of these books at the kiosk. Even going over to Italy you will find similar books on the various towns, however when I got to Florence I was quite disappointed that there was no glossy type book that actually dealt with the city and its history (they did have books, but not what I wanted).

The other interesting thing about the book was learning about the ruins themselves, and even though I was speed reading it I could almost picture the ruins in my head. The problem with these ruins though is their location (you could have thought the Hitties would have built their civilisation in a more accessible and stable part of the world – but then again in those days the most logical place to build a city was on top of a mountain). They are out somewhere in the middle of Turkey and I am not all that sure of what the access to these sites are like. At least with Ephesus you can take a day trip from one of the Greek Islands and you can also visit Troy on a day trip from Istanbul. Athens, well, that's right in the middle of Athens (though Delphi and Mycenae are a little more of a headache to get to, though since they are popular sites, at least there are tour buses that go there).